So in the midst of mass chaos, I try and remind myself –GLORY YEARS. To be more specific, here is what I am supposed to remember about these times.
1. The fighting, ahhh the fighting. At some point along this journey folks keep telling me it will stop and they will become best friends. I’m clinging dearly to that notion because right now they want to kill each other about 70 times each day. Summer exacerbates this at my house because now there are summer chores to fight over and the idea that each of them believe they should point out what the other doesn’t do.
2. The mass chaos of organizing this clan. Literally I feel like organizing the 7th fleet would be a smaller task. Between the ranch, my business, their activities, church, social lives and education, my juggling of schedules and enlistment of extra hands on deck rivals that of preparing for battle. My mom recently retired and thank the good Lord because she had no idea what all I needed her to do until she was home during the day. Thank you village for helping me shuttle and care for my flock.
3. “Family fun time in the feed truck” is what we used to call it when the kids were little. Basically it meant everyone in the truck, mom and dad have chores to do and we need you confined and out of trouble. As they have grown, we still call it “family fun time in the feed truck,” but it usually implies three dirty children in the back seat “touching” each other which results in really loud music and off-key singing in the front seat. We have decided that torturing them with our singing is appropriate punishment for listening to their complaints or bickering.
4. Meal times, I remember when the biggest stresser at meal times was whether or not one of the kids would stay in their high chair. These glory years have me in awe of those special points in the month that we are all sitting down together and no one is shooting dirty looks across the table. Needless to say, my meals have gravitated away from only the cut up fruits and vegetables on the high chair toward a more basic food groups of pizza, chicken, tacos and grill night or anything else quick and easy.
5. My mom taxi runs anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours each day. Hauling children to their variety of activities has become a significant part of my day. If I had a meter running while I transport them here, there and yon, I would be a rich woman. And I only have about 2/3 of my flock in action right now. While I really tire of all the driving, I do appreciate the conversations that happen in my car. From Junior High drama to puberty and the facts of life, we cover all the hot topics while allowing mom to have comfortable view out the windshield so they cannot always see my facial expressions. What a blessing!
We are living the glory years, in a bee hive of activity with good friends who are in their own glory years. We are sleep deprived, skeptical of our abilities and running on fumes but all in the name of the glory years. Making memories, both good and bad, trying to give them a taste from all the fountains of childhood. Helping them when they stumble, dusting them off and sending them back out the door.
And when the nest is empty and I have time to sit a spell, I’ll remember all of the calamity and chaos with a smile and probably a tear as well.
-Lisa, A Kansas Farm Mom contributor